How to Close & Force Quit Apps on the iPhone X, XS Max, XR & Later

Wondering how to close apps on the iPhone X, XR, and later? You can close apps by returning to the Home screen, but the apps will still be in the background. To completely close an app, or force quit an app that isn’t working, you’ll need to know how to use the App Switcher. Since the iPhone X has no Home button, closing an app on the iPhone is performed with gestures. We’ll go over how to close apps and how to force quit apps on your iPhone with no Home button, including the iPhone XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.

Related: How to Set Up Face Id (Facial Recognition) on Your iPhone, Use It to Unlock Apps & Make Purchases

When you close an app on your iPhone, you’ve really just hidden it from sight. Having many apps open in the background won’t affect your battery life unless you have Background App Refresh turned on. So it’s not an issue to have multiple apps open in the background, but if you use the App Switcher to multitask, you likely don’t want a lot of apps hanging around there that aren't essential. First, we’ll go over how to close apps on iPhone X, which is the same process as returning to Home screen on iPhone X. Then, we’ll cover how to force close apps, which is the same as completely closing an app on your iPhone X.

If you have a Mac, you may also want to learn how to force quit Mac apps!

How to Close an App on the iPhone X, XR & Later

  1. From within the app, swipe up from the bottom of your screen.
  2. This will take you back to Home screen and close the app, thereby hiding it in the background.

    swipe up gesture to close appiphone home screen

If swiping up from the bottom of the screen isn’t specific enough, look for the little horizontal bar that hangs out down there. You can use that as a visual cue of where to swipe up from. If you don’t want closed apps hanging out in the background, the next part of the article will show you how to force close those apps.

How to Force Quit an App on the iPhone X, XS Max & Later

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen stopping about a third to a half of the way up; release and the App Switcher will open with the various apps you have open in the background.
  2. Swipe right or left until you find the app you'd like to close. 

    open the app switcher on the iphoneforce quit an app
  3. Touch the app preview for the app you'd like to close; swipe upwards with a quick, flicking gesture. 
  4. The app preview will move off of the screen, and the app will close. 
Top Image Credit: A. Aleksandravicius /
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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.